How are the classes organised?
To meet the need of our community and catchment area, the Published Admission Number (PAN) from September 2021 has been reduced from 45 to 30 pupils. Due to our current pupil numbers in EYFS and KS1, we operate single-aged classes, whereas in KS2, where we have larger numbers of pupils, we operate mixed-age class.
We plan and teach our curriculum in ‘phases’, which incorporate the separate year groups:
- Reception – known as the Early Years phase
- Years 1 & 2 – known as Key Stage One phase
- Years 3 & 4 – known as Lower Key Stage Two phase
- Years 5 & 6 – known as Upper Key Stage Two phase
In each phase, we plan and teach the curriculum on a two-yearly rolling plan, so by the end of each phase the children have covered everything in the National Curriculum.
Our School Curriculum
Our school curriculum follows the programmes of study as defined in the Primary National Curriculum (2014), but how we teach it is bespoke to us.
Our curriculum is designed so children are taught many of the National Curriculum foundation subjects through whole school topics that are not only interesting to children but allows them to gain the knowledge and skills in all areas of the curriculum. What makes our curriculum bespoke is the way the curriculum builds on previous learning in each year group and focuses on smaller elements of subject knowledge from the wider curriculum, which are relevant to the topic being studied.
For example in Lower Key Stage Two, the National Curriculum states, in history, children will study Stone Age to Iron Age, the Romans, Anglo-Saxons and Ancient Egypt. Traditionally, children will spend half a term or a term focusing on one historical period, where they learn everything about that period of history, ranging from invasions, settlement, how people lived, the military, religion, etc. This gives children an insight into many elements relating to that period of history, but does not allow children to gain an in-depth understanding in any one area.
We have designed our curriculum to allow children to focus on a particular element of study, e.g. Food and Farming, and then learn about this, not only in one period of history, but in all the different periods of history they are studying that year. This allows the children to compare and contrast how people in the past farmed the land, how technology differed and the different foods they ate. The children become ‘historical experts’ in that chosen topic, gaining a deeper knowledge and understanding.
Over the course of the year, in each half termly topic, the topic focus changes and the children then become experts in a different area. For example in the topic, ‘Faiths and Festivals’, the children in LKS2 will study the same periods of history as before, but the focus is now on the religious beliefs and practices of these people, etc.
By the end of the academic year, the children will have a gained detailed knowledge and understanding of the themes studied in all the historical periods covered, so by the time they finish the key stage phase, after two years, the children will have learnt everything about Stone Age to Iron Age, the Romans, Anglo-Saxons and Ancient Egypt and will have covered the National Curriculum programmes of study relating to history for Lower Key Stage 2.
Other foundation subjects such as, Geography, Art and DT are linked to the topic and, where possible Science, English and music are linked too. Maths, PE, RE, RSE, French are taught discreetly.
Our curriculum aims to enable all children to become successful learners, confident individuals and responsible citizens, by teaching and focusing on the attitudes and attributes necessary for learning, the skills and the knowledge and understanding required to be successful in all subjects.
We believe our curriculum is ambitious for all pupils, including those with a special educational need or disability, is coherently planned and sequenced and is broad and balanced for all pupils. We also believe in the principle of greater learner involvement in their work, results in a meaningful curriculum which promotes high standards.
There is a strong focus on the teaching and attainment of the key skills in English and Mathematics in all phases.
In their curriculum studies, we endeavour to develop children who:
- enjoy learning, are keen and eager to gain knowledge and learn new skills;
- apply learnt skills across the curriculum;
- can make links between subjects and their learning;
- have enquiring minds;
- are motivated, aspirational and become increasingly independent learners, taking responsibility for their own learning and actions;
- are aware of their own strengths and weaknesses;
- are reflective, resilient and demonstrate perseverance;
- are happy and confident enough to ask for help, and able to collaborate with others;
- set themselves personal challenges and use their initiative;
- strive for high achievements;
- take pride in the achievement of others.
Additional curriculum opportunities we offer our pupils:
- Year 3 have a series of dance lessons (PrimarySTEPS) taught by tutors from the Royal Ballet School (autumn term).
- Year 4 have weekly instrument tuition (one hour) from the Suffolk Music Service.
- Pupils in Year 4 to Year 6 can learn to play guitar (peripatetic lessons)
- Year 5 have swimming lessons every week at the local pool.
- We run two residential visits a year for Year 4 and Year 6.
- All children take part in a school performance every year.
If you require any further information regarding the school’s curriculum, please speak to either the class teachers or the Headteacher, who will be happy to assist.
Curriculum Overviews for 2020/21
Autumn 1 - 2020
Autumn 2 - 2020
Spring 1 - 2021
Spring 2 - 2021
How is Mathematics taught?
Maths is taught in separate year groups and the content covers the National Curriculum for each specific year group.
Maths is taught using a ‘mastery’ approach and to support this approach, we have daily ‘Power Maths’ lessons. Power Maths is a UK curriculum mastery programme recommended by the DfE, having met the NCETM’s criteria for high-quality textbooks, and have been judged as “fully delivering a mastery approach”.
Power Maths is designed to spark curiosity and excitement and nurture confidence in maths. It is built around a child‑centred lesson design that models and embeds a growth mindset approach to maths and focuses on helping all children to build a deep understanding of maths concepts. Children are taught and encouraged to use manipulatives to support their mathematical understanding and to demonstrate this understanding using concrete, pictorial and abstract methods to show their reasoning and to solve problem-solving activities. Arithmetic and times tables are also taught.
We also use School Jam and Maths Flex (online resources) to support our work in maths. Click here for more details.
Please see the Power Maths termly overviews below for more details about what is taught in maths, and the key stage Calculation Polies to see how we teach calculation in number:
How is English taught?
In English, we teach and develop children’s reading and writing skills. The class story/novel is used as a stimulus, which may be liked to the topic being studied in class. Over the course of an academic year, the children will have experience writing in all genres. Writing lessons focus on the writing process, from planning, drafting, editing to final publication. As part of this process, children are taught how to use grammar and punctuation. Lessons will also focus on developing reading and speaking and listening skills, through both guided and independent activities.
We teach English in our phase groups and follow the National Curriculum in English for Year 1, Year 2, Lower key stage 2 and Upper key stage 2. Details of what is being taught in English can be found in the half termly key stage curriculum overviews.
How is Phonics taught?
Children in Reception and Key Stage 1 have daily phonic lessons, taught in class using the synthetic phonics programme, ‘Read Write Inc. Phonics’. All our teachers and teaching assistants are trained in delivering the phonics programme.
In lessons, children learn their sounds and how to blend them. The children apply what they have learnt by reading books, which are levelled, relevant and fully decodable.
If required, Read Write Inc. Phonic groups are run for children in Years 3 and 4, and we use Read Write Inc. Fresh Start for those who require a boost in Years 5 and 6.
To find out more about Read Write Inc. phonics, visit the Ruth Miskin website by clicking here, Read Write Inc. phonics. On the site there are some very useful videos, including ‘How to pronounce pure sounds’ in the ‘How to help your child at home’ parent section.
Practicing phonics at home and reading is part of the children’s daily homework.
How is Reading taught?
Learning to read and becoming a fluent reader is our main priority and our aim is to teach children to read, so they can read to learn. We want to instil enjoyment of reading and help children progress towards becoming fluent, accurate, independent readers.
In Early Years, the children have their Read Write Inc. Phonics Red Ditty books and ‘Floppy’s Phonic Sounds and Letters’. Picture books are also used.
In Year 1 and Year 2 initially, the children take home a copy of an appropriate Read Write Inc. Phonics book (assessed at their reading level) and a Read Write Inc. Phonics ‘book bag book’. There are a number of different titles per coloured group and they are all fully decodable and include prompts to help parents/carers read with their child at home.
From Year 2 to Year 6 the children choose their reading books from the school library, which is aligned to ‘Accelerated Reader’. To ensure children are reading at the correct level, children take a reading and comprehension skills assessment, which gives a point range. They can then choose a reading book from this range, which include a large range of fiction and some non-fiction books, all of which are at their reading level. Books include age appropriate novels from well-known authors and Oxford Reading Tree books, including Project X, Project X Alien Adventures, All Stars and Robins, Time Chronicles and Tree Tops.
After each book is read, the children take an Accelerated Reader online quiz, to assess their comprehension of the book.
Key Stage One and Key Stage Two also use structured guided reading sessions to teach and develop reading and comprehension skills.
Practicing reading at home is part of the children’s daily homework. We also use an online programme called ‘myON’, which is from Accelerated Reader. This is a library of over 5000 electronic fiction and non-fiction books for children from EYFS to Year 6. Children who are on Accelerated Reader can link their accounts, so they can read books in their point range and complete quizzes on the books read. Please click here to find out more about myON.
How is Spelling taught?
We use a structured and progressive spelling programme to ensure breadth and coverage of all the National Curriculum spelling requirements for each year group. Each week, children will be introduced to and taught a new spelling rule. Spellings forms part of the child’s weekly homework.
How is Handwriting taught?
We use a structured handwriting programme designed to allow younger children to practise forming letters correctly, moving to positioning and pre-cursive and then moving to a continuous cursive handwriting style. To be successful, handwriting requires frequent, discrete and direct teaching. Practicing at home is also important.
How is Religious Education taught?
The school follows the Emmanuel Project (Suffolk syllabus for Religious Education). This is taught as part of the school’s curriculum and covers the world’s main religions. It prepares children for life in modern Britain and the wider world. It also ensures that the children are knowledgeable and understanding of all faiths and different cultures. They also learn how to look after themselves and have respect for other people.
How is Relationships & Sex Education (RSE) taught?
The new RSE (Relationship & Sex Education) for primary schools comes into force from the summer term 2021 and updates what was previously know as PSHE (Personal, Social, Health Education). Our RSE programme helps equip children with essential skills for life; teaching them how to stay safe and healthy, build successful relationships and become active, responsible participants in society.
Children will be taught lessons around the three core strands:
- Health and Wellbeing
- Living in the Wider World
Please see our scheme of work for each year group and the RSE policy for more information.
Children in Reception will be asked to practice their phonics and read to an adult at home.
Children in Key Stage 1 are asked to concentrate on practising phonics, reading daily at home, learn their spellings, times tables and work on their maths skills using School Jam.
Children in Key Stage 2 are asked to read daily at home, learn their spellings, times tables and work on their maths skills using Maths Flex. In addition, pupils in Upper Key Stage 2 will be set weekly maths and/or English tasks, and Year 6 may receive additional tasks in the run up to their SATS in May.
If the class teacher thinks it would be beneficial for identified children to have extra practise in certain English and maths skills, they may be given additional activities to complete at home.
Parental involvement is actively encouraged. From time to time the children may be asked to complete a home learning task linked to what is being studied in class.
From time to time, children may require extra teaching in English and maths to help them understand concepts and learn new skills. These sessions focus on gaps in learning and misconceptions, which when addressed will enable the child to move forward with their learning. At Hardwick Primary we refer to interventions as ‘therapies’, and if your child is going to take part in a therapy group, we will let you know in advance.
Additional Information about the National Curriculum
For more details on the National Curriculum (2014), please read these handy guides (published by Rising Stars):